Lucapa Diamond Company’s second diamonds tender this year has attracted $US3.5 million ($5 million).
The tender in Antwerp, Belgium involved a parcel of 7008 carats of rough diamonds from the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. They were sold with prices of up to $US26,000 a carat for individual gems.
This latest result brings the total sale proceeds from the two tenders of Mothae diamonds to $US7.3 million.
Lucapa is considering a third tender in the first half of this year, following strong, consistent recoveries from the 1.1 million tonne kimberlite plant, including the 126-carat gem-quality diamond recovered this month.
“We continue to be encouraged by the regular recovery of Specials and sales results achieved from the supposed lower-margin areas of the Mothae kimberlite pipe,” Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall said.
“These results add to the excitement as our mining campaign prepares to transition to the higher-margin diamond zones in the main southern pit in (the second half of this year) once the water is transferred to our main dam to ensure we have the appropriate water supplies for our planned increased treatment rates during the dry months.”
Sales from Mothae’s lower-margin diamond zones average $US588 a carat for the run-of-mine production and $US729 a carat for diamonds in the 11-plus sieve size fraction.
Lucapa expects to operate at higher throughput rates at Mothae’s higher-margin zones when the water transfer is completed.
Mothae is a joint venture between Lucapa (70 per cent) and the Government of Lesotho (30 per cent).